Mobthrow: Unfolded
Ad Noiseam

Three years after his eponymous debut, Angelos Liaros re-emerges with a new, hour-long collection under the Mobthrow alias. That Liaros has issued material on Spectraliquid and Mindtrick in addition to Ad Noiseam should provide an immediate hint of the hard, bass-powered sound presented in his Mobthow productions. That the Berlin-based Liaros works full-time as a sound-designer and mastering engineer is borne out by the depth and artistry of the album material, which holds up well to scrutiny, and the overall sound design, which is sophisticated and rich.

Liaros first takes a moment to assert his sound design skills in the opening “Inner Voice” before moving onto “Black Fluid,” which presents the kind of music one might more associate with the Mobthrow persona. Yet while there's a powerful beat thrust in play, there's an artfulness, too, as the producer patiently builds intensity as details are folded into the arrangement. Deploying a siren-like wail as the track's organizing element, Mobthow draws the listener into the material's viral throb before moving on to the meticulously sculpted “Black Fluid” and equally forceful “Low Pressure Area.”

He isn't averse to letting other styles seep into his beat-driven productions either. Though laden with atmospheric voices, “Mystical Forest” is more acid-techno than breakcore, while much the same can be said of the later “Triple Acid,” which points the Mobthrow sound in the direction of Aphex Twin territory. Elsewhere, Liaros twists “Nu Nepal” into unusual shape by weaving Tuvan throat signing into its seething universe and even works a symphonic dimension into the album when “The Wayfarer” merges string washes with outdoors sounds. Rather than settle for a one-dimensional set of heavy beat-driven tracks, Liaros deserves credit for aiming high and demonstrating range on this ambitious collection. Yes, there's heaviness aplenty on Unfolded—consider as evidence “The City My Church” and “Above the Rim of the Earth,” the latter a collaboration with Subheim (aka Kostas Katsikas)—but a whole lot more, too.

May 2014